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COTA

Sign the Petition: Nursing Home Residents Deserve Better Access to Mental Health Care

23rd January 2016

Our frailest older Australians deserve the best care on offer

petitionOver 170,000 older Australians living in residential aged care are ineligible to access mental health services when they need them. Why? Because they can not access Medicare-funded treatment available to the rest of the community through the Better Access to Mental Health Care program.

While nursing home residents can access some mental health services through their aged care provider, this doesn’t happen anywhere near enough, and is not as well funded.

University research has repeatedly found that fewer than two per cent of nursing home residents suffering depression have received clinically recommended treatment. And yet we know that aged care residents suffer some of the highest incidence of depression in the country.

Introduced in 2006, the Better Access to Mental Health Care excluded aged care residents. If you are at home and receiving a high level Home Care Package you can access the program - but if you’re around the corner in residential care you cannot.

Take action now! Sign the petition and join the campaign to ensure the new Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, acts quickly to fix this historic anomaly and give nursing home residents the same access to mental health services as everyone else.

Visit the website to sign the petition now for a fair go for every older Australian!

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